This book explores the emergence of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) as an alternative political force in Uttar Pradesh. It focuses on the historical continuity of Dalit social justice movements and organizational politics from pre- to post-colonial India and its subsequent institutionalization as a political force with the rise of the BSP in the state since the 1980s.
The volume discusses the new age Dalit–Bahujan politics and its ethnicization of caste groups to create a bahujan samaj. The book analyzes the focused political leadership of Kanshiram and Mayawati, the strong party organization, and how they evolved an empowered Dalit ideology and identity by grassroots mobilization and championing Dalit icons and history. The author also explores the party’s strategies, slogans and alliances with other political parties and communities and its political manoeuvrings to retain its influence over the electorate. The book also effectively identifies the reasons for the political marginalization of the BSP in present times in the context of the phenomenal rise of the BJP in the state.
The book will be of great interest to researchers and scholars of political science, sociology, Dalit and subaltern studies, exclusion studies and those working on the intersectionality of caste and class. It will also be useful for policy makers, think tanks and NGOs working in the domain of caste, marginality, social exclusion and identity politics.
Table of Contents
Introduction. 1. Landscaping Dalit Consciousness 2. The Political Architecture of Social Justice 3. The Enterprise of Social Justice 4. In the Forecourt of Political Power 5. Remaking the Caste Calculus. Conclusion. Bibliography. Index
Jayabrata Sarkar is an associate professor teaching at the Department of Political Science in Deshbandhu College, University of Delhi, India. He has researched and worked on the Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh extensively and on the Bodos, a plain tribe in Assam, India, and their struggles for rights, entitlements and ethno-cultural autonomy. His areas of interest include issues related to social exclusion, marginality, identity politics and the relational context of studying these themes within the process of globalization and international politics.